Salem’s resident roller derby league, Cherry City Derby Girls, is opening its season at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 24 at the Salem Armory at the Oregon State Fairgrounds with a bout pitting the league’s all-star team, the 8-Wheel Assassins, against Bend’s Lava City Smokin’ Ashes.

Tickets for the event are $10 in advance at or $13 at the door. Children 5-and-under are admitted free of charge, and parking for the event is free as well. According to the CCDG press release for the event, food, beverages (including beer) and merchandise will be available for purchase.

“You’ll see a great event that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire evening,” said CCDG Publicity Committee Co-Chair Nicole Palmateer.
The Cherry City Derby Girls formed in 2009 amongst a resurgence in the sport, which has seen its 400 international leagues balloon to 700 in just the past year. CCDG has seen a similar increase in popularity itself, growing to 150 skaters and four teams.

“Roller Derby isn’t what it used to be,” added Palmateer. “Many people think of the 70’s when they think of roller derby. The sport has evolved into a competitive, exhilarating, exciting event that features women from all backgrounds, of all shapes and sizes, out there fighting to win.”

Even with the recent growth the league is always looking for new members, and interested athletes should visit the league’s web site for more details.

“Womens roller derby is a sport that welcomes all women,” said Palmateer. CCDG has skaters who were exceptional on skates when they joined all the way to skaters who could not stand up on skates when they joined. All it takes is a desire and commitment to work hard and to compete.”

An important part of the Cherry City Derby Girls as an organization is that their members aren’t just a group of athletes, they also have a commitment to serve the public.

“(CCDG) wants to provide entertainment and sport but a large part of who we are is also giving back to the community,” added Palmateer. “Community service is required of all league skaters and we feature a non-profit organization at each bout to help raise their awareness. We seek out opportunities to work with our community to help make Salem an even better place to live. The Salem community has been tremendously supportive and we can’t express our appreciation enough. CCDG will continue to integrate ourself into Salem, and we welcome opportunities to do so.”